More of us are working from home than ever, and there are plenty of upsides to that—a better work-life balance, a substantially shorter commute, and increased flexibility in our schedules.
Benefits aside, though, working from home has its challenges. It can be difficult to get and stay motivated without regular supervision and less face-to-face interactions with coworkers. Family distractions can pull us away from tasks, and Netflix is only a quick click away.
That’s why it’s essential to create a great home office you love—one that makes you happy and nurtures your most productive self.
Location, Location, Location
When working from home, many people sequester themselves in a dark corner for hours at a time and then wonder why they never want to get to work. Don’t do that to yourself—you aren’t being put on a time-out. Your home office isn’t a punishment: you should feel comfortable and inspired to do your best work.
Instead, choose a dedicated space for your home office that provides some privacy for tasks and calls, is not too heavily trafficked by others in your household, and has at least a couple of electrical outlets. Ideally, this space will also provide a source of natural light as well to help keep your brain alert and reduce stress on your eyes.
When it comes to creating a great home office, it really is about location, location, location.
Keep It Simple
What you’ll want in your home office will depend on the type of work you do. Start with what you need and build out from there.
Some folks may need a full desktop computer set-up, while others will find the agility of a laptop to be enough. If you enjoy space to move around throughout the day, a standing desk will work well for you, but someone else might prefer to sit in an ergonomic chair. Do you need a printer? A lot of desktop space? Maybe a dedicated phone line?
When it comes to creating a home office you love, take the minimalist approach—less clutter means more mental space. Choose tools that will enable you to work smarter and harder, and your home office will be a space in which you feel focused and productive.
Call A Truce On Storage Wars
File cabinets can be clunky, unsightly things. But a mountain of loose paper lying around isn’t ideal either.
Try hanging floating shelves to organize the papers you need daily, and invest in a bookcase for the larger items you don’t need at arm’s reach, like books or folders. When selecting a bookshelf, choose one that’s big enough to hold everything without overcrowding. Bonus: it’ll make an excellent backdrop for your Monday morning Zoom call.
Remember the rule: a place for everything and everything in its place. Stay organized, and you’ll find it much easier to love your home office.
Of course, an attractive home office can be a game-changer. It’s natural to enjoy being in spaces that are pleasing to the eye. While you don’t want to sacrifice form for function, you can decorate to make your space more beautiful.
Choose colours you enjoy and furnish your home office with tools or inspiring accents. Consider decor such as a chic lamp, throw pillows, textured area rug, picture frames, or live plants (they make us more productive!) Check out these examples of design trends for inspiration.
Don’t forget to secure and tuck away any dangling wires, cords, and cables. Not only are they unsightly, but untangling them can drain hours away from your productivity.
Do The Work!
Creating an inspirational home office is one thing, but you can’t stop there. Getting things accomplished, ticking tasks off your to-do list, and setting new milestones are deeply tied to long-term happiness and fulfillment.
When working from home, your primary accountability manager is…well, you. While conference calls and video check-ins can keep you on task, it’s up to you to make sure you’re showing up and getting everything done.
Segment your day as you would at the office and set personal reminders for due-dates or scheduled breaks. Establishing a routine, sticking to a regular schedule, and creating a workflow that best uses your energy is key to working from home and enjoying the space in which you work.
The best way to enjoy your great home office is to use it!